Carlos Sainz says he and Toro Rosso executed a 'perfect weekend' to maximise their opportunities and secure the team's first top six finish of the season in the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Spaniard avoided drama - and the wall - all weekend to impress with his run to sixth on the grid in qualifying, a position he'd maintain to the chequered flag to equal his best-ever result in F1.

Praising the pace of his STR12, which has struggled at more power dependent circuits so far this year, Sainz is particularly proud to have achieved the result in such an iconic location.

Related Articles

"A perfect weekend for us, the result we needed. It is not like every year you do a perfect weekend in the best race of the season and that is Monaco, so I think we have to enjoy it. From FP1 I built it up little by little, in qualifying I had a very good lap and in the race no mistakes. If there is a weekend you want to do it, it is Monaco.

Better still, it was achieved whilst under pressure from Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who was bidding to claw back time ahead of his pit-stop in an effort to overcut Sainz. However, the Toro Rosso driver's pace would be too strong for Hamilton to recover.

"I knew he was going to put some pressure on me in the last 20 laps of the race, I think they told me on the radio Hamilton stayed out and is pushing, he will attack you at the end of the race with a fresher tyre.

"I knew it would be tight at the end but I think he has been more or less half a second quicker a lap all weekend and I know it is not enough. I pretty much knew P6 was there for me."